Haute Couture means "high sewing" or "high dressmaking" or "high fashion". It is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Also mentioned: high-end-fashion. In either terms, most important is the fact the clothes are constructed by hand from start to finish.
Extremely expensive materials
Haute Couture is made from high-quality, expensive, often unusual fabrics. The outer-fabric but also the linings, interfacing and all the notions as. well. We are talking about real Silk, real metal, wooden or pearl buttons and the best of the best notions: zippers, hocks, the label-material etc. It is in the detail, so even the price-labels, size-labels etc. are full of details, copyright protected names etc.
Handwork, and sewing work....
Haute Couture is sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable sewers. They are often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. The difference between basic sewing and couture sewing is a big difference. Mainly the time invested, the location of the ateliers (or factories) and mostly the seamstress. The couture houses are working with very skilled seamstress. Before somebody is allowed to cut the expensive fabrics or to sew an ordered piece of couture by a very wealthy client: they have to be big professionals.
Haute Couture OR couture?
Haute is the name. Haute refers to 'high 'the best' , 'the most professional' etc. Haute Couture means the best of the best. Haute translates literally to "high".
A Haute Couture garment is:
But what about Prêt-à-Porter or Ready-to-wear?
The real difference between Prêt-à-Porter and Haute Couture: Prêt-à-Porter = ready-to-wear. The same beautiful couture garment is not created for an exclusive client but in standard-sizes. The clothes are for sale for those who can afford them. Well, it still means the cloths are extremely expensive, but they are for sale....
Are you going to buy Chanel couture, if you win the lottery?
Yes, it is expensive with capitals. We all know a lipstick costs already 30.00 euro even though you can buy a perfect lipstick for 10.00 euro of the other brands. Mainly you pay for the label-name, the package, the smell, the luxury image and above all: a special feeling to have a CHANEL-lipstick!
We all know about the handbags. If you own a real 2.55 Chanel handbag, you are walking around with a real investment. Most handbags starts around 5.000 euro and for some (new) models you have to get on a list, wait for months, maybe even years.
And now: imagine the couture: Day wear usually starts at around euro 10.000, though it does depend on the brand Chanel Haute Couture usually cost between euro 50.000-100.000, while bridal can easily cost euro 100.000-150.000. So start saving money, or better: start to learn how to create couture yourself.
HAUTE COUTURE YOURSELF!
Couture houses or labels don't mass-produce. They'll make 100 garments a year instead of 1.000, or even instead of mass production to sell the clothes allover the world.... So now you understand WHY the real Haute Couture is so extremely expensive.
The choice between real couture and mass-production cheap clothes is easy. You have to get dressed, so you have to buy what's available down the streets or on the internet.
Start sewing yourself and you are able to create your own Haute Couture.